Yorkshire school calls in Dentaid volunteers to treat children who can’t get dental appointments

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Volunteers from the dental charity, Dentaid, visited a Yorkshire school recently after the headmaster made an urgent call for help.

Charlie Johnson, head teacher at Trinity Academy in Sowerby Bridge, contacted local public health officials as a result of children missing school and complaining about severe dental pain.

Parents were not able to get appointments with NHS dentists and the situation was getting worse. Children were missing valuable classroom time, struggling with toothache and finding it difficult to concentrate in lessons. Public health officials told Mr Johnson that there was a shortage of dentists in the area and encouraged him to contact Dentaid.

Mr Johnson said that he had to try to get help for his students after being forced to take some to hospital because they couldn’t cope with the pain and there were no urgent dental appointments available.

Dentaid, which provides treatment across the UK and overseas, agreed to take a mobile unit to the school. During routine checks, volunteers found that ten pupils needed treatment for abscesses, cracked teeth and decay. Jenna, 13, was one student who benefited from the intervention. Before she saw a dentist, she was finding it hard to sleep because she was in constant pain, which was making it tough to focus in class. Dentists found an abscess and Jenna is now receiving treatment.

This was the first occasion Dentaid had been called into a school, but practice manager, Sarah Hutchins, said that dental issues among children and teenagers had become more prevalent during the pandemic.

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